Have you always wanted to start your own blog? There are scads and scads of free resources out there to guide you through it, and just as many paid classes.
I’ve tried many of them to no avail, but some have been very valuable. Here are the steps I went through and the resources I’ve used.
This post contains resources I find valuable. Some are free, some are paid. Some I’m suggesting and will receive no compensation for, and others I will receive an affiliate commission (but that doesn’t affect your price at all!). As always, your using my links is greatly appreciated.
Decide your Blog’s Purpose, Niche, and Name & Set It Up
First, you need to know what you’re going to write about and why. If you are going to do this seriously, you’ll need to make a small investment to purchase a domain name (your URL) and to have your site be self-hosted. Why? Well, if you want to own your content and have the right to monetize it and run it as you sit fit, you need to take this step.
Why? Well, if you want to own your content and have the right to monetize it and run it as you sit fit, you need to take this step.
A domain name will run you anywhere from $0.99-$15, depending on if you find a discount or promo. I buy mine from GoDaddy.
Hosting starts at just a few dollars a month. Most bloggers end up starting with Blue Host because they are affordable and do the job well (that’s where I started!). As I grew, I moved to SiteGround and they have excellent customer service and handled the transition beautifully for me.
Be sure to choose a name that clearly states what you’re doing at your blog, so that your target audience knows that they actually want to visit it. A potential reader will scope out your name and your tagline to decide if your blog is a good fit for them — so ponder it well.
Choose Your Theme
Next you’ll set up your www.WordPress.org account and link it to your hosting; this is super easy. If you are overwhelmed by it, however, just reach out to BlueHost and they’ll do it for you.
And then, you get to the fun part! Now you can choose a theme for your blog, which is what it will look like and how it will function. I am a big fan of using the Genesis framework and a child theme with it.
I started out at StudioPress because an experienced blogger friend suggested them and I’m a big fan. They are easy to look at, offer excellent customer service, and very affordable. You can even buy the Genesis framework and theme in a bundle to save extra $$ (this is a one time purchase).
Side Note: there are some free themes you can access in WordPress, and those are good to start with. However, the best option is to get Genesis and a child theme so you can start personalizing your blog and your brand right from the beginning!
Start Writing & Creating Graphics
This step isn’t the easiest, but it’s your whole “why” for doing this. Start writing your posts and inserting graphics. Be sure not use copyrighted images and to turn out original content.
I like to use Pixabay, Unsplash, and Pexels for free images that are put out there for common use. There are several paid sites, as well, and often you get what you pay for so this can end up being a very sound investment.
Of course, you can also take your own photos for your posts. You’ll definitely be doing this if you decided to be a DIY blogger or Food blogger because stock photography won’t cut it.
Make sure you have great lighting and good composition, because photos really do make a big difference these days, especially with Pinterest. A simple set-up for product photography can help, in addition to using natural light.
I like Canva for designing my Pinterest images, but I know many use PicMonkey or Photoshop. You’ll have to choose what is easiest for you!
Check out this info packed article on maximizing Facebook for your business reach
And this course called Strategies Worth Sharing is super affordable and offers a value far beyond the price tag!
Want to get a handle on Pinterest? This simple e-book will get you started fast without breaking the bank. I noticed a change the very first week I started implementing Carly’s strategies.
As I sign up for more courses and check out more resources, I’ll update!